If you think the proposed Quality of Advice Review changes will alone fix your efficiency woes, then it’s time to think again.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am completely in favour of simplifying advice documents and introducing common sense regulation as suggested by Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones. But sensible regulatory change is only part of the solution, not the solution itself.
Advisers must still proactively implement the right combination of software, systems, and processes to drive efficiency gains in their practice– regardless of whether QAR is implemented and in whatever form it takes. Allow me to explain how and why.
No silver bullet
In my current role, I work with leading practices across Australia and the number one pain point felt across the board is the time required to produce advice.
Any regulatory reform that can help remove friction in the advice process would be welcome. But regulatory reform in isolation, will not, make this problem disappear.
Let’s take, for example, the recommendation to overhaul overly lengthy advice documents. Few would dispute that much of the content routinely included in the “current form” Statement of Advice goes overboard.
But that addresses just one part of the process – the SOA itself. There are many other steps involved in providing high quality advice, such as fact finding, scoping, modelling, goal analysis and product selection that each contribute to the time and cost of the process. Advice will still need to be documented.
Plus, there is, of course, the time spent on client reviews – the area of practice that takes the most time for most firms.
The point is, without the right software, processes and systems, the advice process will continue to be inefficient.